I was afraid to participate #FemFest Day 3
When the Feminisms Fest conversation was launched over the internet on Tuesday, I was sitting in my parents kitchen in Canada and thought I would put down my two cents. A few days before I had been visiting with some of the lovely ladies at @Shelovesmag. We were standing in Idelette’s kitchen telling stories of sexism and racism we had experienced in the work place.
We all had a story.
So I put some thoughts down on the computer screen and had someone give it a quick look over. She commented, “It’s good, but you’re not a real feminist, because real feminists hate men.” We went on to talk about feminism and religion and eventually, the sushi we were going to eat for lunch.
And that is WHY this conversation is so important. It is a conversation that NEEDS to happen; on an academic level, a cultural level, a moral level, and a spiritual level. We all have a story and as someone pointed out in my first post, we don’t know everything. Once we know that, and once we acknowledge the negative connotations surrounding feminism, we have a place to begin.
I have been afraid to participate in this conversation. I have been afraid of claiming the title feminist.
In the world of sex trafficking, it is a dangerous label to be associated with because it assumes you have a certain opinions about women, about men, about legal systems and about prostitution and pornography.
But it is because of conversations like #FemFest that I feel like I can participate despite my fear.
It is through this discussion that others have put to words the many things I am still trying to work through. It is Emily Joy Allison saying, “I’m comfortable with the stigma attached to “feminism” in the same way that I’m comfortable with the stigma attached to “Christian.” Both are too important to me to do away with the label altogether.”
It is Danielle at from-two-to-one speaking to why mainstream feminists need religious feminists in one of my favourite posts of this series: “Despite mainstream feminists’ potential distrust of faith-based feminists, these last couple of days of the synchroblog illuminated three main points: 1) that mainstream feminists need to better engage feminists of various faith backgrounds, 2) that feminists of faith are best positioned to combat the pseudoreligious sexism in our policy and politics, and 3) that these feminists are most qualified to translate and disseminate feminist values to their religious communities.”
And it is when over 100 posts are written on people’s experiences, views, and arguments when it comes to feminism that I know it is okay to partake in this wild word of fighting for the equality of women.
Now, as I am writing this, I am feeling jetlagged while sitting in my kitchen in Amsterdam as my two housemates are going over a speech on the historical sexual representation of women through Dutch Art.
Feminisms Fest has been like that for me. One moment you are in one persons kitchen listening to stories of sexist bosses, the next you are eating sushi at another table and challenging the negative connotations surrounding the word feminism. Eventually you end up in a totally different country talking about a seemingly unrelated topic that reveals something new to your thoughts on women. As Preston Yancey pointed out, change comes when we are continually invited to sit at the table and listen to the stories of poetic women. That is where we find our voices to speak and our ears to listen and grace to embrace the diversity of those with whom we are eating.
As a woman of faith, and a an advocate for the exploited, this week has given me a lot of food for thought. It has connected me to new ideas and attitudes.
Most of all it has taught me that I don’t need to be afraid to join in.
To share what you learned through the #FemFest synchroblog, join the final link-up today at seeprestonblog.com
In other news, over at SheLovesMagazine:
What’s fun, beautiful and free? Well, you, of course. But also our #FREE flipbook we’ve created for your viewing pleasure. Take time to reflect on our month of posts about freedom (and let us know what you think of our little book too).http://ow.ly/i7CUH